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Libspero

Bandstands and free parking

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Town centres should offer an hour's free parking and bring back bandstands to help save Britain's high streets, a Government minister says today.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/07/07/high-streets-minister-wants-save-town-centres-free-parking-bandstands/

 

My view is that the death of the high street at the hands of local councils is the best thing that has happened to shopping with the possible exception of Amazon.

Having to queue up in stationary traffic as everyone tried to get into town, worrying about getting back to your car in time for the parking meter, not having any other choices..  all resigned to the history books.  The only good thing about high streets was the diversity of shops compared to modern out of town identikit shopping parks.

So why do we have a government department set up especially to try to save them? I think they’ve got it completely arse about face.  Surely far better to make out-of-town centres more accessible to “mom & pop” shops and recreate traditional shopping centres in attractive out of town (and easy to access) locations?

IMHO traditional town centres should be beautified (replace shops with more green space) and converted to decent housing.

Do people agree,  or should we be trying to save the traditional high street?

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No, I think that the death of town centre retail is both inevitable and welcome.

Though I find it deeply ironic that the people who most benefit from it - councils from rates and freeholders from rents - are those doing their level best to kill off these shops by charging at exorbitant levels.

Pubs, cafes, green spaces, cinemas and yes, why not, band stands are all welcome to replace the grubby tat pushers that currently occupy town centres.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Libspero said:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/07/07/high-streets-minister-wants-save-town-centres-free-parking-bandstands/

 

My view is that the death of the high street at the hands of local councils is the best thing that has happened to shopping with the possible exception of Amazon.

Having to queue up in stationary traffic as everyone tried to get into town, worrying about getting back to your car in time for the parking meter, not having any other choices..  all resigned to the history books.  The only good thing about high streets was the diversity of shops compared to modern out of town identikit shopping parks.

So why do we have a government department set up especially to try to save them? I think they’ve got it completely arse about face.  Surely far better to make out-of-town centres more accessible to “mom & pop” shops and recreate traditional shopping centres in attractive out of town (and easy to access) locations?

IMHO traditional town centres should be beautified (replace shops with more green space) and converted to decent housing.

Do people agree,  or should we be trying to save the traditional high street?

Decent housing, office work places, green spaces and shops selling fresh everyday food; bakers, butchers, greengrocers and small hardware. Heck, there might even be a need for a candlestick maker in the near future. Restaurants and cafes. No point having a bandstand as music is usually considered haram.

Edited by Hopeful

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I’ve watched my town centre die once they built a Sainsbury’s on the edge about six years ago. I was amazed that the town centre was still thriving. It was great. Provided businesses and jobs for local people. 

What has killed it is the supermarket. Most spending is day to day stuff, food etc.  The big four/five have killed this dead. Food is also worse as my local town (and every other) was served by the local countryside. I still remember the market gardens scattered all round the edge of town. 

What happened to all the animals too.  The fields were full of cows and sheep until not that long ago.  

The countryside is like a barren wasteland these days. 

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38 minutes ago, One percent said:

I’ve watched my town centre die once they built a Sainsbury’s on the edge about six years ago. I was amazed that the town centre was still thriving. It was great. Provided businesses and jobs for local people. 

What has killed it is the supermarket. Most spending is day to day stuff, food etc.  The big four/five have killed this dead. Food is also worse as my local town (and every other) was served by the local countryside. I still remember the market gardens scattered all round the edge of town. 

What happened to all the animals too.  The fields were full of cows and sheep until not that long ago.  

The countryside is like a barren wasteland these days. 

It's progress, and you will be taxed for it.

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39 minutes ago, One percent said:

I’ve watched my town centre die once they built a Sainsbury’s on the edge about six years ago. I was amazed that the town centre was still thriving. It was great. Provided businesses and jobs for local people. 

What has killed it is the supermarket. Most spending is day to day stuff, food etc.  The big four/five have killed this dead. Food is also worse as my local town (and every other) was served by the local countryside. I still remember the market gardens scattered all round the edge of town. 

 

It only happened because that's what most of us opted for. We wanted the convenience of going to one shop, the supermarket, and being able to purchase all the items we wanted rather than having to go into several different shops. I remember my mother walking three or four miles each way every couple of days to purchase food. She had to struggle back with heavy(ish) bags. 

 

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1 minute ago, sleepwello'nights said:

It only happened because that's what most of us opted for. We wanted the convenience of going to one shop, the supermarket, and being able to purchase all the items we wanted rather than having to go into several different shops. I remember my mother walking three or four miles each way every couple of days to purchase food. She had to struggle back with heavy(ish) bags. 

 

Agree in part but to keep the town centres alive, the supermarkets needed to have been restricted. So for example, smaller shops in the centre, rather than large sheds out the outskirts. They needed to have also been restricted in what they sold, so to mainly groceries. 

There was and still is a coop supermarket in the centre of town and it worked well alongside the small independent bakers, butchers, greengrocer, etc.  It was the Sainsbury’s that killed it. 

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46 minutes ago, One percent said:

The countryside is like a barren wasteland these days. 

 

8 minutes ago, MrPin said:

It's progress, and you will be taxed for it.

That's the National Trust for you, wankers that they are

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3 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

 

That's the National Trust for you, wankers that they are

I never shaved my head, and wore a Harrington jacket to join the National Trust. That is a lie!O.o

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7 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

 

That's the National Trust for you, wankers that they are

It was also foot and mouth which I’m sure someone on here said had been accidentally released from porton down. It’s also as if it were deliberate. 

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1 hour ago, Libspero said:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/07/07/high-streets-minister-wants-save-town-centres-free-parking-bandstands/

 

My view is that the death of the high street at the hands of local councils is the best thing that has happened to shopping with the possible exception of Amazon.

Having to queue up in stationary traffic as everyone tried to get into town, worrying about getting back to your car in time for the parking meter, not having any other choices..  all resigned to the history books.  The only good thing about high streets was the diversity of shops compared to modern out of town identikit shopping parks.

So why do we have a government department set up especially to try to save them? I think they’ve got it completely arse about face.  Surely far better to make out-of-town centres more accessible to “mom & pop” shops and recreate traditional shopping centres in attractive out of town (and easy to access) locations?

IMHO traditional town centres should be beautified (replace shops with more green space) and converted to decent housing.

Do people agree,  or should we be trying to save the traditional high street?

Optics.  More like the government is deliberately killing small businesses with extortionate rates on business properties.

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8 minutes ago, One percent said:

Agree in part but to keep the town centres alive, the supermarkets needed to have been restricted. So for example, smaller shops in the centre, rather than large sheds out the outskirts. They needed to have also been restricted in what they sold, so to mainly groceries. 

There was and still is a coop supermarket in the centre of town and it worked well alongside the small independent bakers, butchers, greengrocer, etc.  It was the Sainsbury’s that killed it. 

I'm not sure that forcing people to do something to save a bad business model is the right approach.  If town centres wanted to compete they needed to do better,  not force the supermarkets to do less / worse.

The problem is the supermarkets provided easy access, convenient parking, competitive prices and, as you say, everything under one roof.

To compete the city centres needed better access and investment in free parking.   For this they relied on the council,  and councils used poor "green" political excuses to sit on their hands and charge motorists out of town centres.  So people stopped coming..  it was obvious.

I'm all for town centres being "reinvented",  but to turn them back into thriving commerial hubs (or anything much more than boutique curiosities) will require more investment and capitalist attitude than we are ever likely to see from local planners.  

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Just now, Libspero said:

I'm not sure that forcing people to do something to save a bad business model is the right approach.  If town centres wanted to compete they needed to do better,  not force the supermarkets to do less / worse.

The problem is the supermarkets provided easy access, convenient parking, competitive prices and, as you say, everything under one roof.

To compete the city centres needed better access and investment in free parking.   For this they relied on the council,  and councils used poor "green" political excuses to sit on their hands and charge motorists out of town centres.  So people stopped coming..  it was obvious.

I'm all for town centres being "reinvented",  but to turn them back into thriving commerial hubs (or anything much more than boutique curiosities) will require more investment and capitalist attitude than we are ever likely to see from local planners.  

Sadly, I think you are correct. 

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6 minutes ago, montecristo said:

Optics.  More like the government is deliberately killing small businesses with extortionate rates on business properties.

Seen to be doing?  Yes,  you're probably right..

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Posted (edited)

I am really trying to support my little local independent shop. I need a spare bottle of calor gas. I called three weeks ago, specified what I needed and they confirmed it was in stock. Drove straight there and it wasn't and hadn't been for a fortnight.

Tried them again just now. "Have you got a six kilo red calor gas in stock" I asked. Yes, they said. 

But I am wise. Are you sure it is 6kg? Actually I think it is 5 they said.

Are you sure it is red? Well no, it is green. Does that matter?

Another wasted journey missed. But how the Feck can they not have restocked a very common item in 5 weeks in peak bbq season?

Will now try the massive garden centre. But will wait until 3pm when it might be slightly less packed than the normal 20 minute queue to park.

Edited by Cunning Plan

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2 minutes ago, Cunning Plan said:

I am really trying to support my little local independent shop. I need a spare bottle of calor gas. I called three weeks ago, specified what I needed and they confirmed it was in stock. Drove straight there and it wasn't and hadn't been for a fortnight.

Tried them again just now. "Have you got a six kilo red calor gas in stock" I asked. Yes, they said. 

But I am wise. Are you sure it is 6kg? Actually I think it is 5 they said.

Are you sure it is red? Well no, it is green. Does that matter?

Another wasted journey missed. But how the Feck can they not have restocked a very common item in 5 weeks in peak bbq season?

Will now try the massive garden centre. But will wait until 3pm when it might be slightly less packed than the normal 20 minute queue to park.

The problem could be the wholesale price and turnover. Not enoough people support the local shop for 6kg calor gas to make it worth their while. When we had a shop (closed in the 80s after 100 years trading) the wholesale price of goods (not gas) was more expensive than the price at which the superstores were retailing.

Or perhaps your neighbours can afford oil for their AGAs

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2 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

The problem could be the wholesale price and turnover. Not enoough people support the local shop for 6kg calor gas to make it worth their while. When we had a shop (closed in the 80s after 100 years trading) the wholesale price of goods (not gas) was more expensive than the price at which the superstores were retailing.

Or perhaps your neighbours can afford oil for their AGAs

No. They are now the only calor stockists for miles around. I would buy other stuff that I need if I visited. If you are going to stock stuff, then make sure you actually have it.

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2 hours ago, sleepwello'nights said:

It only happened because that's what most of us opted for. We wanted the convenience of going to one shop, the supermarket, and being able to purchase all the items we wanted rather than having to go into several different shops. I remember my mother walking three or four miles each way every couple of days to purchase food. She had to struggle back with heavy(ish) bags. 

 

Same here. And my mum had to go out daily for water, and with 2-gallon cans twice a week for Dad's petrol and beer.

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Posted (edited)

Most if not all of the problems stem from excessive and too rapid population/population growth due to corporate greed along with politicians' pursuit of dodgy GDP stats on a Ponzi basis.

Edited by twocents

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Libspero said:

Surely far better to make out-of-town centres more accessible to “mom & pop” shops and recreate traditional shopping centres in attractive out of town (and easy to access) locations?

IMHO traditional town centres should be beautified (replace shops with more green space) and converted to decent housing.

Do people agree,  or should we be trying to save the traditional high street?

Towns started out as easy to access shopping locations. If you move all the shops to "out of town" shopping locations, they'd become the new town centres, only uglier.  

And you wouldn't fix traffic issues by turning current town centres into residential areas.  In fact you'd make it worse as people need to access their own home by car more often than they access the shops. And where would they park anyway? Town centre buildings don't generally have driveways and the streets would fill up.  And everyone would need cars, because you've moved all the shops out of town!

Edited by MvR

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4 minutes ago, MvR said:

Towns started out as easy to access shopping locations. If you move all the shops to "out of town" shopping locations, they'd become the new town centres, only uglier.  

And you wouldn't fix traffic issues by turning current town centres into residential areas.  In fact you'd make it worse as people people need to access their own home by car more often than they access the shops. And where would they park anyway? Town centre buildings don't generally have driveways and the streets would fill up.  And everyone would need cars, because you've moved all the shops out of town!

To a point.

I agree that town centres were a natural hub,  the problem is that they were built when local populations were far lower and people didn’t have cars..  so access and parking, as you rightly point out, are terrible.

By moving commercial centres out of town you are able to start from scratch..  look at something like the Trafford centre in Manchester,  access via motorway and multi lane local access roads straight into copious amounts of parking then a short walk to shops.

Housing in town centres could work by levelling rows of buildings and creating parking and green spaces as well a converting other buildings to accommodation. Basically taking a sledgehammer to it and redesigning from scratch.

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11 minutes ago, Libspero said:

To a point.

I agree that town centres were a natural hub,  the problem is that they were built when local populations were far lower and people didn’t have cars..  so access and parking, as you rightly point out, are terrible.

By moving commercial centres out of town you are able to start from scratch..  look at something like the Trafford centre in Manchester,  access via motorway and multi lane local access roads straight into copious amounts of parking then a short walk to shops.

Housing in town centres could work by levelling rows of buildings and creating parking and green spaces as well a converting other buildings to accommodation. Basically taking a sledgehammer to it and redesigning from scratch.

is milton keynes and example of this, i went once, never went back, it smelled.

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